Geranium heaven at Clover Cottage

I visited Clover Cottage in West Wickham last weekend within the National Garden Scheme’s summer offering. Shirley Shadford has built the most gorgeous front and back gardens from scratch, having lived in the cottage with her husband for the best part of two decades.

Shirley kindly showed my mum and I around the gardens and we found her enthusiasm infectious as she talked through the clouds of geranium, thalictrum, astrantia and roses which line the billowing pathway and flowerbeds there.

Her careful and generous employment of plant supports to keep these fantastic plants looking their best made me realise I need to invest in some more, too!

Rather than narrate too much, I’m keen to simply share some of the photographs I took, which hopefully go some way in illustrating the beauty of the planting.

What a front garden…I loved the combination of soft, floaty purples, pinks and whites along with the bold, towering blue delphinium.
The cottage is surrounded by peachy roses and vibrant pink geranium at the front.
Stunning planting: geranium, lupin and larkspur are nestled around a crowd of fading allium heads.
The bees love the place (of course).
The front garden is the gift that keeps on giving!
An especial favourite of mine: thalictrum ‘Elin’ stands out exquisitely beside the thatched roof of the cottage.
The rambling rose ‘Purple Skyliner’ (Franwekpurp) gently frames this pretty, mossy sculpture.
One gorgeous pond.
I almost missed these on my way out: succulents living on roof tiles along the side of the cottage pathway.
A lovely peony, snapped as I left.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into Clover Cottage, and highly recommend you visit for the real experience if you can. Photos simply don’t do it justice!

Thankfully you can experience this beautiful cottage garden yourself next year: it’s open 20, 27 February and 6 March for the Snowdrop Festival, and 12, 19 June in summertime.

Until next week,

🌞 Katherine

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